Richard Shotwell, Invision
James Dashner, left, and Wes Ball attend the 20th Century Fox press line on day 3 of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 11, 2015, in San Diego. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah author James Dashner recently spoke with Mashable in an exclusive Q&A about what makes dystopian novels so powerful: hope.

Dashner, who wrote The Maze Runner series, told Mashable that hope helps people understand how they can change the world.

"There are a lot of places in the world that are in worse shape than even the books we’re writing. And with social media, kids are much more aware of it," Dashner told Mashable. "Now kids see pictures of (real) places that are living in either in apocalyptic conditions or dystopian conditions. So (readers of the genre) love relating to the fact that our world could go that way, and that someone their age could make a difference in that world."

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Dashner also explained the 1980 Stanley Kubrick horror movie "The Shining" gave him the initial idea for his series and talked about where he draws inspiration.

He said he’s looking forward to moving on from the Maze Runner series.

"It's been incredibly rewarding. I used to have this mindset that 'I write the summer blockbuster version of books.' Maybe someday I’ll write an important book that’ll win an award, but right now, I want to have fun," he said.

Read the entire interview at Mashable.